3 Surprising Menopause Symptoms Explained

Eileen Durward
Ask Eileen

08 May 2017

Read the full video transcript below

Today's topic

Hello, and welcome to my weekly video blog. And today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I'm going to talk about three surprising symptoms of the menopause. Now, these are symptoms that have cropped up now and again over the years, but we realise that quite a number of women actually do suffer from them, so I thought I would just go through them.

Surprising symptom 1: Nipple Pain

The first one is nipple pain. And ouch! This is such a horrible one. Your nipples can actually get so sore and so tender that you can't actually bear to wear a bra, you can't even bear to have clothing touching you.

This one usually tends to occur during the perimenopause, when your hormones are fluctuating quite a lot, very often that this is triggered when your oestrogen does a sudden spike. It can be accompanied by breast tenderness, it can be accompanied by bloating, by cramping, also by heavy periods or prolonged periods.

What you can do to help yourself

Now, if you're not on any hormonal medication then you could look at the herb Agnus castus. But this can sometimes take two to three cycles to kick in. So, in the meantime, you could use something called St. John's Wort Oil. And this is a lovely oil because it helps to reduce nerve pain. And you can apply this maybe three or four times a day. Very sparingly and just massage it very gently into the nipples.

How kelp can help you

The other thing you could look at, a lot of women say that a kelp supplement can help them. We're not really sure why, we haven't quite figured that one out, but for some women, it seems to do the trick. It also seems to help for breast tenderness, too. So it's certainly worth trying maybe for a couple of months.
Now, just a quick word on kelp. It's not recommended if you have any thyroid problems or you're on any thyroid medication, but for a general menopause supplement, it's an absolutely great one. We find it works really well for quite a few different issues.

And also, it's a lovely support for your metabolism. And we know that during the menopause, our metabolism can slow down and that can contribute to weight gain. So although this is not going to make you lose weight, it can actually help to support and to keep your metabolism steady. So, it's well worth adding into your daily health routine.

What to be aware of with breast changes

Now, the other thing that's really important here is any breast changes, no matter how small or how insignificant, please get this checked out by your doctor.

Get your bra size checked regularly

Oh, and just one more thing. Our breast tissue size and shape can change dramatically in the perimenopause and in the menopause, and wearing an ill-fitting bra can actually be part of the problem, especially if you're wearing the underwired ones. So, when you're in the perimenopause and menopause, it's really important to get your bra size checked really regularly.

Now, I did this a few years ago and I was absolutely horrified because my size was completely out. So, I now make sure that I get myself checked really regularly, and it's a good excuse to buy some nice new bras anyway.

Surprising symptom 2: Tingling, pins and needles & electric shocks

Now, second symptom is tingling pain, pins and needles, and electric shocks. So, this is not a very common one but it can become quite disconcerting because the tingling and the shocks can happen at any time.

And pins and needles very often start during the night, so you might get that really horrible tingly feeling or that kind of dead arm feeling. And it can be sore enough to actually wake you up, which is not what you want, especially if you're not sleeping particularly well anyway. This tends to be caused by falling oestrogen affecting the nerves themselves, and just causing maybe the nerves are shortening out a little bit.

What you can do to help yourself

So, for this one, one of the best things that I would recommend is a fish oil supplement. And don't forget the magnesium as well. One of the other things that can happen in the menopause is that we can end up with low vitamin B12. It's something that is just pinging on our radar at the moment. And one of the symptoms of low vitamin B12 is electronic shocks and nerve tingling. So, if you're getting this regularly then I would advice that you just get this checked out by your doctor.

Surprising symptom 3: Hot, burning feet

Now, the next one is hot feet. This is another horrible one because there you are in bed just dropping off to sleep and suddenly your feet start to burn and they get so hot that there's just no chance of you falling asleep at all. And a lot of women say to me that they have to stick their feet out at the end of the covers because they just can't cope when they're all wrapped up in their duvet.

What you can do to help yourself

Now, there can be various causes for this one, and one of the main ones is low B5. And we know that during the menopause our nervous system gets pulled in, and if we're getting a lot of anxiety and stress, then we can be quite low in the B vitamins. So, I would suggest a really good vitamin B complex, maybe 50 milligrams, and then take an extra maybe 25 milligrams of vitamin B5 on its own. And normally that can help really well.

Hot feet with joint aches and pains

The interesting thing is that the hot feet sometimes accompanies joint aches and pains. So, if you have this particular combination, it could also indicate that you're a little bit high in uric acid. And in which case, having a couple of cups of nettle tea a day, or taking nettle tincture can often sort this one out. But remember to drink plenty of water with this one too because dehydration can be another factor.

Poor circulation

The other thing it may be is poor circulation. So, we would advice just to get your blood pressure checked by the doctor if your hot feet are happening on a regular basis.
So hopefully, you found this interesting. I've got loads more very interesting and strange symptoms of the menopause, and I will be going over them from time to time. But, I shall look forward to seeing you next week on another edition of A.Vogel Talks Menopause.


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  • Hannah 's photo avatar
    Hannah — 22.08.2017 05:32
    Thank you for your website it is so helpful with all these symptoms that I didn't know where menopause related. I felt as though I was going mad!! Thank you again as I don't feel as alone. xx


    • eileen's photo avatar
      eileen — 22.08.2017 12:25
      Hi Hannah You're welcome, glad to be of help!


  • Linda Williams's photo avatar
    Linda Williams — 07.08.2017 19:56
    I am 66 and my hot flushes are getting worse I thought I would have gone through menapause by now


    • eileen's photo avatar
      eileen — 08.08.2017 10:42
      Hi Linda You are considered to be 'officially' through the menopause after not having had any periods for a year, and after another year your symptoms should have started to tail off. If you are still experiencing menopause-like symptoms (such as hot flushes or night sweats) after a lot longer then they may be due to other factors such as low iron levels, low thyroid function, low vit B12 or low vitamin D levels. It may be a good idea to ask your doctor to test for these just to rule them out. If none of these affect you then the symptoms may be an indication that your nervous system has been overwhelmed at some point. If you had a stressful menopause or have had any stress over the last few years this can have a huge impact on your nervous system which doesn't resolve itself. Adrenal Stress causes many menopause like symptoms such as flushes. If this is the case then it is important to do supportive work for the adrenals, such as taking magnesium and calming herbs such as Passiflora or Valerian. Acupuncture can often help with mysterious flushes and you could try the sage tablets as these are specifically for flushes and sweats. Also check your water intake. Flushes/sweats can dehydrate you very quickly and dehydration can affect the nervous system resulting in more flushes!


  • Lynn Taylor's photo avatar
    Lynn Taylor — 31.07.2017 18:35
    Hi there I have just read your blog and find myself saying "that explains that " quite a few times. I have been having common symptoms for about 7 years now and was diagnosed by a consultant as going through the menopause about 5 years ago. This blog has explained my burning feet, aching joints slow metabolism and sore nipples. I did take menopace for a few years but have been managing without for a couple of years. My symptoms seem to have worsened since stopping the contraceptive pill. I wish I had found you a few years ago. Thank yo for your advice and information x


    • eileen's photo avatar
      eileen — 01.08.2017 11:20
      Hi Lynn You're welcome. Why not try the Menopause Support to see if that helps, you can apply for a free sample to try.


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